'Neighbors' Review Roundup: Seth Rogen, Zac Efron Comedy Received Well By Critics
Frat comedy Neighbors stars Zac Efron and Rose Byrne as new parents who move next door to a frat house, whose president is played by Zac Efron.
Mac (Rogen) and Kelly (Byrne) try in vain to foster an amicable relationship with Teddy (Rogen) and the rest of the frat boys, going so far as to prove their 30something cool by attending one of their raucous fetes. However, the nonstop partying proves to be too much for the couple, and a battle soon ensues between the fraternity and the peace and quiet-seeking pair that’s trying to raise a baby.
Drawing comparisons to Animal House, Neighbors, directed by Nicholas Stoller from a script by Andrew J. Cohen and Brendan O’Brien, amps up the gross-out humor, but pairs it with an endearing story arc. The majority of critics found that the film succeeded in finding a balance that could make it this summer’s biggest comedy.
“One thing that makes Neighbors so rich — and it is laugh aloud funny a great deal of the time — is that its characters and situations, while taken to extremes, are rooted in reality. Another thing it has going on is an undercurrent of sweetness and real affection beneath the raunch and outrageousness. […] But the thing that may help the most is Neighbors knows its own limits and doesn’t aspire to be anything more than what it is — a suburban battle fantasy between two generations." Tom Long, Detroit News
“This Revenge of the Bros can be a hoot. Puerile, yes, smutty often, but also a lot of fun. And it's not a boys club when it comes to crazy antics. Byrne gets to be as outrageously funny as Rogen and Efron. Though it's not for the easily offended, somewhere amid all the vulgarity, the tender bond between Mac and Kelly — especially as they try to find their rightful place on the adult spectrum — adds some surprising depth to this raunchy comedy.” – Claudia Puig, USA Today.
"The fratty comedy Neighbors seems to have originated in a butcher shop: It stars a slab of beef and features a whole lot of sausage jokes. To me it looks like a turkey, but it seems poised to bring home the bacon. […] Neighbors has some interesting ideas but throws them away in favor of a string of pasted-together jokes about sex and bodily fluids. In a pinch, the story stops to invite the actors to wheel out celebrity impressions or simply has Efron get hit in the head with a flying beer can or a professor be nearly crushed by a bouncing oil drum.” – Kyle Smith, New York Post
"Back in the Stone Age – we're talking 1978 – National Lampoon's Animal House spoke to a generation of frat boys with a take-no-prisoners attitude toward fun. That animal spirit, embodied by John Belushi's Bluto, raves on in the shamelessly shitfaced Neighbors, the killer party movie of the summer. […] You expect hardcore hilarity from Neighbors, and you get it. It's the nuance that sneaks up on you. Just like it does on Mac and Teddy.” – Pete Travers, Rolling Stone
Neighbors, rated R, is currenlty in wide release. Dave Franco, Halson Sage, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Lisa Kudrow also star.